Cincinnati Reds need a true shortstop to unleash versatility

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have versatility across the roster, but need a shortstop besides Jose Peraza.

The Cincinnati Reds have a young team with quite a bit of versatility.  The problem is that much of the versatility is bundled up in Jose Peraza.  As the only true shortstop on the team, his amazing versatility cannot be accessed.

Left fielder Adam Duvall is a two time Gold Glove finalist.  However, before joining the Reds Duvall was a corner infielder.  He is still the back-up first baseman even though Joey Votto never takes time off.

Starting second basemen Scooter Gennett is also flexible.  Before taking over at second last season, he also played third base, left field and right field.  With the presumed elevation of Dilson Herrera to the big league club, Gennett will be available to move around more.

There is talk that Eugenio Suarez could bounce  around the infield a little bit this season.  That doesn’t make sense because he finally settled in at third in 2017.  He would be the emergency shortstop if Peraza got injured in a game or was ruled out for one.

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Peraza, though, is the real gem.  He can play short, second, and all three outfield positions at a passable level.  He showed an aptitude for being a bench player and moving around defensively in 2016.

The Cincinnati Reds have flexible pieces, but no shortstops around to let Jose Peraza to move around.

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The Reds are so desperate for a shortstop option after Peraza that they are checking out top prospect Nick Senzel there.  Senzel hasn’t played there since high school.  The only other shortstop on the forty man roster is utility man Alex Blandino.

Blake Trahan impressed last spring, but struggled at Double-A.  He could come up and play the position defensively.  They also signed Phil Gooselin to a minor league deal.

The curious part is that they haven’t signed a defensive whiz at short.

Having someone who can come in as part of a double switch.  A player like that would also allow the Reds to keep back-up center fielder Phil Ervin in the minors to get regular playing time.

Peraza could be a Ben Zobrist-type player.  He could start four times a week at different positions and be the back-up shortstop.  That appears to be his long-term career trajectory.

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In the meantime the Reds want to see how much he has progressed from last season.  They brought in Gennett to back him up last year.  Now they need to do the same for Peraza at short.